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New Self-Cloning Lizard Found in Vietnam Restaurant
National Geographic News ^ | 8 November 2008 | Brian Handwerk

Posted on 11/11/2010 8:53:09 PM PST by Fractal Trader

You could call it the surprise du jour: A popular food on Vietnamese menus has turned out to be a lizard previously unknown to science, scientists say.

What's more, the newfound Leiolepis ngovantrii is no run-of-the-mill reptile—the all-female species reproduces via cloning, without the need for male lizards.

Single-gender lizards aren't that much of an oddity: About one percent of lizards can reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning the females spontaneously ovulate and clone themselves to produce offspring with the same genetic blueprint.

(Related: "Virgin Birth Expected at Christmas—By Komodo Dragon.")

"The Vietnamese have been eating these for time on end," said herpetologist L. Lee Grismer of La Sierra University in Riverside, California, who helped identify the animal.

"In this part of the Mekong Delta [in southeastern Vietnam], restaurants have been serving this undescribed species, and we just stumbled across it."

(See "New Snub-Nosed Monkey Discovered, Eaten.")

Wild Lizard Chase

Grismer's Vietnamese colleague Ngo Van Tri of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology found live lizards for sale in a restaurant in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province (see map).

Noting that the reptiles all looked strangely similar, Ngo sent pictures to Grismer and his son Jesse Grismer, a herpetology doctoral student at the University of Kansas.

The father-son team suspected that they may be looking at an all-female species. That's because the team knew that the lizard likely belonged to the Leiolepis genus, in which males and females in lizards have distinct color differences—and no males were apparent in the photos.

So the pair hopped on a plane to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), telephoned the restaurant to "reserve" the lizards, and began an eight-hour motorcycle odyssey—which ended in disappointment.

"When we finally got there, this crazy guy had gotten drunk and served them all to his customers," recalled Lee Grismer, who has received funding for other projects from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

Fortunately other area restaurants had the lizards on offer, and local schoolchildren helped gather more from the wild. Eventually the Grismers examined almost 70 of the lizards—and all turned out to be females.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cryptozoology

1 posted on 11/11/2010 8:53:11 PM PST by Fractal Trader
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


2 posted on 11/11/2010 8:53:34 PM PST by Fractal Trader
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To: Fractal Trader

Now we need a self-cloning Chicken McNugget.


3 posted on 11/11/2010 8:57:21 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (Worst. Post-Racial. And Post-Partisan. Agent Of Hope And Change. EVER.)
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To: Fractal Trader
New Self-Cloning Lizard Found in Vietnam Restaurant

I thought he was in India??

4 posted on 11/11/2010 9:00:18 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Fractal Trader

We need to ping this to Mrs. James Carville


5 posted on 11/11/2010 9:00:25 PM PST by bigbob
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To: Fractal Trader; humblegunner; Eaker; Allegra; 50mm; Larry Lucido; Markos33; TheOldLady
"Fortunately other area restaurants had the lizards on offer, and local schoolchildren helped gather more from the wild. "

The lizards were subsequently resettled in the United States where most of them have begun cloning conservative blogs which are largely indistinguishable from one another.
6 posted on 11/11/2010 9:05:04 PM PST by shibumi (Wily Pablo loves Flank Steak Tacos)
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To: Fractal Trader

Call me when the self cloning lounge lizards show up.


7 posted on 11/11/2010 9:05:22 PM PST by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
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To: Fractal Trader

“What’s more, the newfound Leiolepis ngovantrii is no run-of-the-mill reptile—the all-female species reproduces via cloning, without the need for male lizards. “

The feminist dream.


8 posted on 11/11/2010 9:08:59 PM PST by ari-freedom (Islam is at war against America, while America is at the mall.)
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To: Fractal Trader

Let me know when they find a self-cloning T-bone.


9 posted on 11/11/2010 9:10:12 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: Salamander

Ping to #6.

Familiar cousins under attack. (Not Caudata Amphibia Chordata, but too close for comfort.)


10 posted on 11/11/2010 9:10:25 PM PST by shibumi (Wily Pablo loves Flank Steak Tacos)
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To: Fractal Trader
New Self-Cloning Lizard Found in Vietnam Restaurant

How do they taste?

11 posted on 11/11/2010 9:11:02 PM PST by OHelix
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To: Fractal Trader


12 posted on 11/11/2010 9:13:36 PM PST by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: DouglasKC

Nope..in South Korea.


13 posted on 11/11/2010 9:17:01 PM PST by max americana
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To: OHelix
How do they taste?

About the same as the others.

14 posted on 11/11/2010 9:18:51 PM PST by chemicalman (The Obama's: Proud members of the Vacation-A-Month Club.)
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To: Fractal Trader

Self-cloning? You mean like hangers?


15 posted on 11/11/2010 9:27:19 PM PST by Krankor (I can't see me loving nobody but you- for all my life.)
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To: Fractal Trader

Check their political party membership. Bet they are democrats that voted in the last election....most of them are lizards....


16 posted on 11/11/2010 9:43:33 PM PST by goat granny
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To: ozzymandus

When you find it please freepmail me...


17 posted on 11/11/2010 9:44:39 PM PST by goat granny
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To: Fractal Trader
Waiter! There`s a Lizard, -

No- wait! There`s 2 -!!

Holy Cow! There`s 3 lizards-

Arrgh!! Damn Lizards ate all my soup!

18 posted on 11/11/2010 10:14:35 PM PST by bunkerhill7
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To: Fractal Trader

Remember the joke about the marine biologist who found a new species in a seafood restaurant? He’d ordered the snapper.


19 posted on 11/12/2010 12:22:17 AM PST by tanuki (O-voters: wanted Uberman, got Underdog....)
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To: shibumi; humblegunner; Eaker; Allegra; 50mm; Larry Lucido; Markos33; TheOldLady

Speaking of things that crawl on their bellies, our bank accounts are under attack, again.

Since our accounts have been “under watch” since the last time, nothing’s been taken [yet] and they have a better chance of tracing “the hacker” this time.

The usual suspect has apparently returned and a new caprine grudge has been spawned.


20 posted on 11/12/2010 3:30:08 AM PST by Salamander (I may be lonely but I'm never alone...and the nights may pass me by....but I never cry.....)
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To: Salamander

Never trust Artiodactylas.


21 posted on 11/12/2010 4:59:27 AM PST by 50mm (I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.)
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To: Fractal Trader

This doesn’t sound right. I thought the exchange of DNA was pretty crucial to evolution.


22 posted on 11/12/2010 5:54:26 AM PST by bkepley
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To: OHelix
How do they taste?

Like cloned chicken. $4.99 at Costco.

23 posted on 11/12/2010 5:57:06 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Pablo lives jubtabulously!)
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To: bkepley
I thought the exchange of DNA was pretty crucial to evolution.

Then how do you explain West Virginia?

24 posted on 11/12/2010 5:59:45 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Pablo lives jubtabulously!)
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To: 50mm

Funny....I have 2 pet ones who are always trying to pull sneaking stunts.

Must be genetic.


25 posted on 11/12/2010 6:28:18 AM PST by Salamander (I may be lonely but I'm never alone...and the nights may pass me by....but I never cry.....)
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To: bkepley
I thought the exchange of DNA was pretty crucial to evolution.

So is survival.

26 posted on 11/12/2010 7:07:05 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Salamander

I think the real ones are okay. It’s the fakes you have to watch.


27 posted on 11/12/2010 7:16:20 AM PST by 50mm (I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.)
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To: 50mm

You haven’t ever had throw yourself between your beloved honeysuckle vines and the “real” ones, have you?....;-D


28 posted on 11/12/2010 8:01:25 AM PST by Salamander (I may be lonely but I'm never alone...and the nights may pass me by....but I never cry.....)
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To: bkepley
It is usually nice to have genetic variation within a species, otherwise one good disease that causes fatality with the genome present could wipe out the entire population.

But much like most shark species, this lizard species probably doesn't need to change much to do what it needs to do, and apparently the “clone wars” that resulted from the first female of this species that started this offshoot was won by HER clones, and the male and female parent species was most likely out competed in its niche and driven extinct.

As such this is a demonstration of evolution through natural selection of genetic variation, it is just that this particular successful variation isn't amenable to creating further variation.

What I find interesting is that many parthenogenic lizards still meet up and “mate”. The physical act of humping on a lesbian lizard makes them ovulate a clone!

29 posted on 11/12/2010 8:07:58 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Fractal Trader
Maybe the males are just harder to catch? Here's the only picture of the "delicacy" available (since there's only one its hard to remark on their similiarities:

You're welcome. For my part - I'm sticking with bone-in ribeye ... ;-)

30 posted on 11/12/2010 8:29:20 AM PST by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: Tunehead54
Oops! Here's another:

Just makes your mouth water ... ;-)

31 posted on 11/12/2010 8:34:45 AM PST by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: Tunehead54

And to think I was gonna have chicken for lunch.


32 posted on 11/12/2010 8:37:25 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Now taking suggestions for a new screen name.)
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To: Fractal Trader

Scientists are aware of problems with cloning such as if you try to clone a 7 year old sheep and are successful, the newborn lamb will have “old” genes and a much shorter lifespan. How does this species clone generation after generation without that problem?


33 posted on 11/12/2010 10:11:43 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: Salamander
You haven’t ever had throw yourself between your beloved honeysuckle vines and the “real” ones, have you?

Heck with that. I'd point out the labor-intensive vegetation that needs "pruned." Grass and trees are all I need.

34 posted on 11/12/2010 1:14:10 PM PST by 50mm (I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.)
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To: Fractal Trader

and I thought *this* was weird:

Snake gives ‘virgin birth’ to extraordinary babies
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2620744/posts
http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9139000/9139971.stm

At least no one in that article was eating one. :’)


35 posted on 11/13/2010 5:46:48 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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